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Transformative Learning for Ecological Literacy


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Short presentation on designing transformative learning processes for ecological literacy.

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  • You can see my work on the Global Learning Framework.
    Transformation theory is still ten years behind things because it does not seem to grasp how transformation takes place over the web.
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    This is a great presentation. I have been doing transformational learning in a US Homeless center and in Africa from some seed funds from UNESCO
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Transformative Learning for Ecological Literacy

  1. 1. Pedagogic Research Conference ECOLOGICAL LITERACY &TRANSFORMATIVE LEARNING February 2011 University of Brighton Jody Joanna Boehnert University of Brighton EcoLabs -
  2. 2. The Visual Communication of Ecological Literacy Jody Joanna Boehnert - MPhil - School of Architecture and DesignWhy? Context Levels of Learning & EngagementPresently humanity’s ecological footprint exceeds its regenerativecapacity by 30%. This global overshoot is growing and ecosystems are 1st: Education ABOUT Sustainabilitybeing run down as wastes (including greenhouse gases) accumulate in Content and/or skills emphasis. Easily accommodatedthe air, land, and water. Climate change, resource depletion, pollution, into existing system. Learning ABOUT change.loss of biodiversity, and other systemic environmental problems ACCOMMODATIVE RESPONSE - maintenance.threaten to destroy the natural support systems on which we depend. 2nd: Education FOR SustainabilityWhat? Systems, Networks, Values Additional values emphasis. Greening of institutions.Problems cannot be understood in isolation but must be seen as Deeper questioning and reform of purpose, policy and practice.interconnected and interdependent. We must learn to engage with Learning FOR change. REFORMATIVE RESPONSE - adaptive.complexity and think in terms of systems to address currentecological, social and economic problems. Images can be usefultools to help with this learning process. 3rd: SUSTAINABLE Education Capacity building and action emphasis.How? Transformational Learning Experiential curriculum. Institutions as learning communities. Learning AS change. TRANSFORMATIVE RESPONSE - enactment.The value / action gap permeates education for sustainability and isobvious in environmental coverage in the media. The gap between Stephen Sterling, 2009our ideas about what we value and what we are actually doing toaddress the problem is the notorious value / action gap. This projectuses transformational learning to move from values to action. Thisapproach is integrated into cycles of action research and practicebased design work. ECOLOGICAL Actions GOOD DESIGN Ideas / Theories ECONOMIC SOCIAL Norms / Assumptions Beliefs / Values Paradigm / Worldview Metaphysics / Cosmology Transformational Learning Values, Knowledge, Skills A: SEEING (Perception ) An expanded ethical sensibility or consciousness The world is a complex, interconnected, finite, ecological-social- B: KNOWING (Conception) psychological-economic system. We treat it as if it were not, asEcological literacy - the understanding of the principles of organization A critical understanding of pattern, if it were divisible, separable, simple, and infinite. Our persistent,that ecosystems have evolved to sustain the web of life - is the first consequence and connectivity intractable, global problems arise directly from this mismatch.step on the road to sustainability. The second step is the move Donella Meadows, 1982towards ecodesign. We need to apply our ecological knowledge to C: DOING (Action)the fundamental redesign of our technologies and social institutions, The ability to design and act relationally,so as to bridge the current gap between human design and the integratively and wisely. References Fritjof Capra. The Hidden Connections. London: Flamingo. 2003 Stephen Sterling. Whole Systems Thinking as a Basis for Paradigm Change in Education. University of Bath. 2003ecological sustainable systems of nature. Stephen Sterling. Transformational Learning. Researching Transformational Learning. University of Gloucestershire. 2009 Fritjof Capra, 2003 Stephen Sterling, 2009 | This poster can be downloaded on this website:
  3. 3. value / action gapEven when we understand the problems and possible solutions, it does not mean we put this knowledge into practice
  4. 4. CONTENTS1. DESIGN 1. Applied and transdisciplinary field 2. Shift to designing social learning processes2. ECOLOGICAL LITERACY 1. Understanding the ‘principles of organization’ of ecosystems 2. Understanding interconnections across disciplines 3. Critical eco-literacy and cultural literacy3. TRANSFORMATIVE LEARNING 1. Transformation learning theory and history 2. Mezirow’s ten phases of transformational learning 3. Sterling’s ‘Learning Levels’4. THE TEACH-IN 1. Example of a project designed for transformative learning 2. Findings and conclusion5. FIVE PRINCIPLES
  5. 5. 1. Design • Design is uniquely positioned in academic and professional culture to engage in a dynamic process of moving from theory to practice and moving between disciplines and sectors to facilitate trans-disciplinary actions. • Shift from designing artifacts, buildings etc. to designing processes and futures ways of living.
  6. 6. ‘a complex social learning process’Sustainable design pioneer Ezio Manzini explains that the transitiontowards sustainability will be ‘a complex social learning process.’(2007, 78)Social change is about learning. This learning must be designed. Thisprocess of learning to live sustainability involves unlearning damagingbehaviour patterns, values and aspirations.Manzini explains that the ‘first step is to enable people to escape fromthe powerful images.. that are now totally inadequate to face newchallenges.’( 2003, 3)
  7. 7. e Eco-Literacy Map A tube map based on the literature review of my AHRC funded PhD research, ‘The Visual Communication of Ecological Literacy’ at the University of Brighton. Humanti c Tufte Horn Macy Crompton Roszak Sewall Kasser Reason Holmgren Plumwood Bohm Goethe Leopold Kuhl Friere Sterling Mezirow Naess Shiva Kahn Bateson Spratnek Capra Lakoff Orr Luke Cohen Carson Fuller Hopkins Birkeland Diamond Cox Bourdieu Fry / Willis Manzini Ehrenfeld Buchanan Key to Stations: In uential Thinkers Meadows Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749 - 1832) writer, polymath David Orr (n/a) environmental and political scientist Aldo Leopold (1887 - 1948) ecologist, conservationist Herman Daly (b.1938) ecological economist Thomas Samuel Kuhn (1922 - 1996) physicist, philosopher Val Plumwood (1939 - 2008), ecofeminist activist, philosopher Donella "Dana" Meadows (1941 - 2001) environmental scientist Charlene Spretnak (b.1946) ecofeminist activist, philosopher Humanti c: Elizabeth Pastor (n/a) designer Tom Crompton (n/a) change strategist, communications scholar Key to Lines Daly Jackson Sachs Humanti c: GK VanPatter (n/a) designer Tim Kasser (b.1966) psychologist, communications scholar Gregory Bateson (1904 - 1980) anthropologist, social scientist, cyberneticist John Ehrenfeld, John (n/a) industrial ecologist Rachel Carson (1907 - 1964) biologist, ecologist Buckminster Fuller (1895 - 1983) engineer, designer, inventor, futurist ecological literacy philosophy David Bohm (1917 - 1992) quantum physicist, philosopher Janis Birkeland (n/a) architect, writer, scholar Arne Næss (1912 - 2009) philosopher, activist Manzini, Ezio (n/a) design theorist sustainable development critical ecopedogogy Rob Hopkins (b.1970) ecologist, permaculture designer, author Buchanan, Richard (n/a) design theorist David Holmgren (b. 1955) ecologist, permaculture designer Pierre Bourdieu (1930 - 2002) sociologist, anthropologist, philosopher communications critical social theory Edward Tufte (b.1942) political scientist, statistician, information design writer Reason, Peter (n/a) action researcher, social theorist, sustainability scholar Robert E. Horn (n/a) political scientist, information designer Lukes, Steven (b.1941) political and critical social theorist communication / perception transition movement Robert Cox (n/a) professor of rhetorical studies, communications scholar Cohen, Stanley (n/a) sociologist Jared Mason Diamond (b.1937) scientist, author Kahn, Richard (n/a) critical theorist, education scholar visual communication ecological economics Anne-Marie Willis (n/a) design theorist, philosopher Freire, Paulo (1921 –1997) radical educator, critical social theorist Tony Fry (n/a) design theorist, philosopher Sterling, Stephen (n/a) educator scholar, sustainability scholar design ecopsychology Tim Jackson (n/a) professor of sustainable development, eco-economist Jack Mezirow (n/a) educator scholar, social theorist Wolfgang Sachs (b.1946) , sociologist, social scientist Theodore Roszak (b.1933) professor of history graphic design science † Failure to become familiar with the major lines during your journey will increase the likelihood of serious environmental damage. Fritjof Capra (b.1939) physicist, systems theorist Laura Sewall (n/a) visual psychologist The information gathered on this map has been gathered from different sources and cannot be guaranteed to be fully correct. January 2010 Vandana Shiva (b.1952) physicist, ecologist, philosopher, activist, eco feminist Joanna Macy (b.1929) author, Buddhist scholar, activistIntroduction Ecological Literacy and Design Key to Lines: Summary of Disciplinary Lines Selected BibliographyThis poster presents an overview of the literature review in my AHRC funded At its best, design is an integrative applied transdisciplinary eld that bridges Eco-literacy Eco-literacy (EL) is an understanding of the principles of organiza- Design Design is uniquely positioned to engage in a process of moving from Critical Social Theory Critical social theor y offers powerful tools of Bateson, G., Steps to an Ecology of Mind. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. 1972doctoral research project on the visual communication of ecological literacy theory and action in pursuit of practical outcomes. Pioneers have widened the tion of ecological systems (Capra 201). David Orr coined the term ‘ecological theory to practice and moving between sectors to facilitate trans-disciplinary analysis that expose how and why ecological literacy remains marginal. Social Bourdieu. P., Reproduction in Education, Society and Culture. Cambridge: Polity Press. 2000(eco-literacy). This practice-based project will create an original body of work scope of design problems over recent decades such that design processes and literacy’ in 1992 in a book where he explained that all education is environmental actions. (Buchanan 20). Design offers approaches to address complex problems theory demonstrates how power functions in our culture. Steven Lukes and Pierre Capra, F., The Web of Life. London: Harper Collins. 1997that visually communicates eco-literacy while also designing learning processes design thinking address social and environmental problems as well as design’s education (Orr 90). Ecological literacy implies that each discipline must recognize including the potential to create powerful social learning processes (Manzini 78). Bourdieu describes how dominant discourses re ect the interests of powerful Capra, F. and Henderson, H., Qualitative Growth. London: ICAEW. 2009in which these visuals will be used. The research will demonstrate how visual more traditional economic function. These attempts often involve a shift from human embeddedness in the wider ecological system and transform its theory and political interests. Stanley Cohen’s explains that a proclivity towards denying Cohen, S., States of Denial. Cambridge: Polity. 2001communication can contribute to the development of new understanding, designing artifacts, graphics and buildings to designing processes, systems and practice to make sustainability a reality. The interconnections and interdependence Graphic Design Using visual language (Horn 5), graphic design aims to disturbing facts is the normal in an information-saturated society and describes Cox, R., ‘Nature’s Crisis Disciplines: Does Environmental Communication Have an Ethicalcognitive skills and social capacities. sustainable ways of living. This movement has become more pronounced as it between social, economic and ecological systems must become an educational strategically change human understanding and/or behavior through the use of strategies that can work to circumvent this denial. Duty?’, Environmental Communication. Vol. 1, No. 1, May 2007 becomes increasingly obvious that the material expansion of the economic staple. Critical eco-literacy builds on cultural literacy for a more robust analysis of visual devices, which can powerfully communicate complex concepts and Crompton, T., Common Cause. London: WWF, 2010One of the major premises of this project is that fragmentary thinking is an system is fundamentally unsustainable (Daly, Meadows, Simms, Jackson) and the connections between social and ecological systems (Kahn 11, 66). information. Graphic design can address the crisis in environmental communi- Transition Transition is a social movement based on local responses to climate Daly, H., ‘A Steady-State Economy.’ London: Sustainable Development Commission, 2008obstacle to sustainability and that reductive attitudes towards knowledge radically new models of development must be created for sustainability to cations by visualizing complex webs of interdependence. change and peak oil. Transition has is origins in permaculture which developed Diamond, J., Collapse. New York: Penguin, 2005cannot adequately address problems associated with ecological systems (or become possible. Design is uniquely positioned in academic and professional Sustainable Development Current models of development based on strategies for the design of systems for local resilience and energy descent. It is Freire, P., Pedagogy of the Oppressed. London: Penguin, 1970other complex systems). Responding to this dilemma, this project uses a whole culture to engage in a process of moving from theory to practice and between endless quantitative economic growth are unsustainable (Capra and Henderson 8). Science Several pioneers of ecological thought (Capra, Shiva, Bohm) started relevant to ecological literacy because unlike mainstream discourses, it is informed Fry, T., Design Futuring. Oxford: Berg, 2009systems approach based on the powerful concept of eco-literacy. This research disciplines and sectors to facilitate a transition to sustainability. Instead, development must re ect growth in nature (Sachs 3) where physical their careers as physicist. Using Kuhn’s theory of paradigm shifts in science, by the ecological reality of the depletion of fossil fuel reserves (ITPOES 4). Horn, R., Visual Language. Brainbridge Island: Macro VU Press, 1998posits that visual communications offer a means of helping audiences under- growth occurs to maturity then levels off to maintain a steady state of dynamic ecological thinkers advocate the notion of the emergence of a new ecological Jackson, T., ‘Prosperity without Growth?’ London: Sustainable Development Commission, 2009stand context, interrelationships, dynamics and other features of whole systems As design expands the scope of its enquiry a new type of understanding is equilibrium. Most fundamentally the economy must function within the carrying paradigm as a central theme to support a transition to sustainability. Develop- Ecological economics is economic theory based on the recognition of the Kuhn, T., The Structure of Scienti c Revolutions. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. 1962thinking necessary for eco-literacy. required to inform this process of transition. Designers must learn a whole capacity of the ecological system (Daly 1). ments such as post-normal and holistic science suppor t ecological literacy. geo-physical fact that the economic system is embedded within, and is a sub- Lakoff, G. and Johnson, M., Philosophy in the Flesh. New York: Basic Books. 1999 systems perspective. Ecological literacy is a foundation for sustainability system of the ecological system. The economic system must function within the Meadows, D., Wright, D. ed., Thinking in Systems. London: Earthscan. 2008David Orr coined the term ‘ecological literacy’ in the early 1990s and since this necessary to allow us to break out of destructive patterns of unsustainable Communications Communications mediate the human-nature relationship Philosophy Insights from cybernetics, cognitive science, deep ecology and carrying capacity of the earth. This imperative must be supported by ecologically Orr, D., Ecological Literacy. Albany: State of New York Press. 1992time it has developed into a core concept within sustainable education, creating practice. Ecological literacy is a basis for the design new ways of living within and thus have a vital role to pay in responding to current conditions. Robert Cox eco-feminism create the philosophical grounds of ecological literacy. Key concepts literate economics theory and practice. Prosperity must be delivered through ITPOES, The Oil Crunch. London: UK Industry Taskforce on Peak Oil and Energy Security. 2008a conceptual basis for integrated thinking about sustainability. Eco-literacy must the ecological carrying capacity of the planet. Without a basic understanding describes environmental communications is a ‘crisis discipline’(5). Response to include the ‘epistemological error’ of the current paradigm (Bateson 493), ‘embed- other means than quantitative growth (Jackson 5). Plumwood, Val., Environmental Culture. Oxon: Routledge. 2002now be embedded in theor y and practice across individual disciplines. My provided by ecological literacy, design solutions are likely to reproduce and signals of environmental danger is the key to avoid social collapse (Diamond 10). dedness’ of human society within ecological systems (Spretnak 72) and a critique Roszak, T., Gomes, M., and Kanner, A. ed., Ecopsychology. San Francisco: Sierra Club Books. 1995research develops visual displays of information making ecological literacy both exacerbate problems. Issues of power are at the crux of environmental communications resulting in what on dominant western models of rationality (Plumwood 4). Ecopsychology Eco-psychology analysis, tools and therapies address our Sachs, W., Planet Dialectics. London: Zed Books,1999tangible and accessible. This work places itself in the middle of a fast moving Bourdieu calls ‘symbolic violence’. Crompton describes the need for values based psychological relationship with Nature. Gregory Bateson explored the ecological Shiva, V., ‘Reductionist science as epistemological violence’, In Science, Hegemony and Violence.discourse on transition and sustainability. The project demonstrates how design environmental communications, with an explicit focus on strengthening intrinsic Critical Ecopedagogy Critical pedagogy is an educational movement that roots of mental illness in the pivotal book Steps to an Ecology of Mind. Eco- Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988skills can facilitate a wide reaching social learning process for ecological literacy Joanna Jody Boehner t - January 2011 relative to extrinsic values. Research indicates that facts are of limited value in originated from Paulo Freires educational practices in South America focused on psychology is informed by TEK (traditional ecological knowledge) of indigenous Sterling, S., ‘Whole Systems Thinking as a Basis for Paradigm Change in Education’. PhD:in design education. j.j.boehner | in uencing behaviour in regards to the environment, instead George Lakoff advices conscientization. These methods have been integral to the profound change peoples who almost universally holds that psychological health is dependent University of Bath. 2003 This poster can be downloaded at: communicators to, “Know your values, and frame the debate.” witnessed in social movements globally including women’s liberation (Meizrow 19). on a balanced relationship with your habitat / ecological system. References not found on this list can be found on the website below.
  8. 8. 2. Ecological Literacy“All education is environmental education. By what is included or excluded,emphasized or ignored, students learn that they are part of or apart from thenatural world. Through education we inculcate the ideas of careful stewardshipor carelessness” (Orr 1992, 90).An understanding of the ‘principles of organization’ of ecological systems.(Capra 2003, 201).Critical eco-literacy is linked to cultural literacy for a more robust analysisof the connections between social and ecological systems (Kahn 2010, 66).A awareness of the interdependence between human, economic and ecologicalsystems must become an educational stable. Ecological literacy implies thateach discipline transform its theory and practice to make sustainability a reality.
  9. 9. 3. Transformative learning Transformative learning (TL) holds the potential to transcend the notorious value/action gap that divides our awareness of environmental threats from our capacity to take appropriate action.
  10. 10. Transformative Learning Theory (TLT)TLT describes a process of increasing an individual learner’scapacity for change.Transformative Learning Theory proposes that this process giveslearners greater agency as they become more emotionally capableof change.This maturity is developed though encounters with deep emotionand the results are evidenced in reflective discourse and inultimately in action. Transformative learning processes can revealassumptions behind our behaviours, beliefs and values. It does thiswhile helping to creating agency and the ability to make changehappen.
  11. 11. Transformative Learning - HistoryJack Mezirow first introduced the concept of transformative learning in a 1978 papertitled ‘Perspective Transformation’. Mezirow was influenced by Thomas Kuhn’swork on ‘paradigms’ (1962), Paulo Freire’s concept of ‘conscientisation’ (1970),Habermas’ ‘domains of learning’ (1971) and the consciousness raising women’smovement in adult education in the 1970s. (Kitchenham 2008, 105)Mezirow describes TL as a process of ‘becoming critically aware of one’s own tacitassumptions and expectations and those of others and assessing their relevance formaking an interpretation.’ (2000, 4)This process is informed by a critical awareness of contextual, biographical, historicaland cultural aspects of our collective beliefs and feelings in regard the problemsunder examination. TL ‘enables us to recognize, reassess, and modify the structuresof assumptions and expectations that frame our tacit points of view and influence ourthinking, beliefs, attitudes and actions.’ (Mezirow 2009, 18)Through TL we learn to act on our own purposes, values, feelings, and meaningrather than those we uncritically assimilated from others.
  12. 12. Ten Phases of Transformative LearningJack Mezirow’s Ten Phases of Transformational Learning (1978) was basedon extensive research in a 1975 American nation wide study of women education.An eleventh phase was added in 1991 stressing the importance of altering presentrelationships and forging new relationships. (Mezirow 2000, 22)1. A disorienting dilemma2. Self-examination with feelings of fear, anger, guilt or shame3. A critical assessment of assumptions4. Recognition that one’s discontent and process of transformation are shared5. Exploration of options for new roles, relationships and actions6. Planning a course of action7. Acquiring knowledge and skills for implementing one’s plans8. Provisional trying of new roles9. Building competence and self-confidence in new roles and relationships10. A reintegration into one’s life on the basis of conditions dictated by one’s new perspectives& 11. Altering present relationships and forging new relationships
  13. 13. Transformative Learning Theory (TLT) Simplified - 1. critical reflection 2. reflective discourse 3. actionDespite its potential, transformational learning is a severe challenge dueto the fact that individuals are often intensely threatened by the prospectof re-examining accepted norms of beliefs and behavior. Yet TL can work.Transformative learning is now the subject of over 100 PhDs and has beendeveloped over the three decades, it is a powerful pedogagic practice.
  14. 14. Levels of Learning in Education for SustainabilityCommunications theorist Gregory Bateson first described learning levels in‘The Logical Categories of Learning and Communication’ (1964). Drawing onBateson’s theory, Stephen Sterling describes a four stage process in sustainabilityeducation: Levels of Learning in Education for Sustainability Level A- No change (no learning: ignorance, denial, tokenism) Level B- Accommodation (1st order - adaptation and maintenance) Level C- Reformation (2nd order learning - critically reflective adaptation) Level D- Transformation (3rd order learning - creative re-visioning) (2001, 78)Sterling maintains that learning for sustainability must transcend thetraditional transmissive learning approach because information alone doesnot necessarily lead to change. Sterling: ‘not only does it not work, but toomuch environmental information (particularly relating to the various globalcrises) can be disempowering, without a deeper and broader learning processestaking place’ (2001, 19).
  15. 15. Levels of Learning & Engagement1st: Education ABOUT SustainabilityContent and/or skills emphasis. Easily accommodatedinto existing system. Learning ABOUT change.ACCOMMODATIVE RESPONSE - maintenance.2nd: Education FOR SustainabilityAdditional values emphasis. Greening of institutions.Deeper questioning and reform of purpose, policy and practice.Learning FOR change. REFORMATIVE RESPONSE - adaptive.3rd: SUSTAINABLE EducationCapacity building and action emphasis.Experiential curriculum. Institutions as learning communities.Learning AS change. TRANSFORMATIVE RESPONSE - enactment.Stephen Sterling, 2009
  16. 16. Actions Ideas / Theories Norms / Assumptions Beliefs / Values Paradigm / Worldview Metaphysics / Cosmology Transformational LearningValues, Knowledge, Skills A: SEEING (Perc eption ) An expanded ethical sensibility or consciousness B: KNOWING (Conception) A critical understanding of pattern, consequence and connectivity C: DOING (Action) The ability to design and act relationally, integratively and wisely. Stephen Sterling, 2009
  17. 17. Actions Ideas/theories Norms/assumptions Beliefs/values Paradigm/worldviewMetaphysics/cosmology Stephen Sterling on transition from beliefs to actions: ‘Levels of Knowing’, 2009
  18. 18. How? Transformational LearningThe value / action gap permeates education for sustainability and isobvious in environmental coverage in the media. The gap betweenour ideas about what we value and what we are actually doing toaddress the problem is the notorious value / action gap. This projectuses transformational learning to move from values to action. Thisapproach is integrated into cycles of action research and practicebased design work.
  19. 19. 3. The Teach-inAn Example of TL for EL300 students from over 15 differentuniversities attended the 2012Imperative Teach-in at the Victoria andAlbert Museum 12 October 2009.The project has an ambitious goal: toembed with ecological and sustainabilityliteracy in design education by 2012.Several hundred more watched a liveInternet broadcast and over 300+ havesigned up to a collaborative site tocontinue working towards project goals. Stats: 300 in the audience at the V&A 500+ in the remote audience 300+ people signed on to the Teach-in Ning 5,000+ Teach-in documents downloaded
  20. 20. The Teach-in attempted to createconditions for transformational3rd order learning by creating atransformative, participatory, sociallearning process.This orientation is needed to allowlearners to re-access basic assumptionsin regards to the systemic roots ofenvironmental problems.Reflecting on our own ideas andperceptions in relation to theenvironment is necessary to create anecologically literate basis for action.This epistemic learning provides afoundation to enable learners toachieve deep 3rd order learning.
  21. 21. The 2012 Imperative challenges individuals towork towards embedding ecological literacy in thecurriculum while also attempting to transformuniversity facilities to reflect good environmentalpractice. • Participatory activities / processes at event • Ning social network: • 2012 Imperative action document • 10 step check list for carbon reduction at universities (to reducing carbon emissions by 10% in 2010) • Speakers videos and other resources on
  22. 22. The Teach-in was informed by Mezirow’s ‘10 Phases of TL’The phases of TL can be modified to inform a learning process for ecological literacy:1. Confrontation with data regarding the environmental crises.2. Self-examination with feelings in regards to environmental crisis.3. A critical assessment of assumptions and basic premises.4. Recognition of discontent and possibilities for transformation.5. Exploration ideas associated with ecological literacy.6. Planning a learning process of ecological principles and concepts.7. Acquiring new knowledge, i.e. skills needed in sustainable industries.8. Developing new methods of working and living sustainably.9. Building confidence to actively promote sustainability within communities.10. Reintegration into one’s life based on ecologically literate perspective.Within the context of this research project these steps become more specific.Each of these phases can be facilitated through visual resources:1. Design of visual resources on environmental crises.2. Design of processes to help learners negotiate emotional reaction.3. Design of learning spaces to explore and critically examine basic premises.4. Design of learning spaces for collaboratively sharing experiences and possibilities.5. Design of learning resources for ecological and sustainability literacy.6. Design of learning resources to communicate key ecological principles and concepts.7. Design of learning experiences to teach new concepts and skills.8. Design of resources and experiences to promote new ways of working and living9. Design of activities for workplaces and communities.10. Design of tools to integrate sustainability literacy into everyday life and to live sustainability.
  23. 23.
  24. 24. t: Copy of REPORT FOR TEACH-IN Surveys and feedback forms demonstrate a strong desire amongst participants forniversities should teach to address skills to deal with95% of respondents thought that universities have universities students the sustainability. environmental and a responsibility to teach students skills to deal with environmental and social problems.cial problems. STATISTICS Although responses in were committed to sustainability, Choices Selected: 56 understanding of the processes through which we might be Total Responses: 56 capable of designing a sustainable society are far less developed. The disconnect occurs in the space between what we would like to do (our values) and what we are actually capable of doing under current circumstances (given a lack of agency and systemic understanding or eco-literacy). SurveyGizmo Report: Summary Report #3 SurveyGizmo Report: Summary Report #3 SUMMARY 11. The future VALUE be __________ because ____________. we will COUNT PERCENT % 14. Should YOU do something about environmental problems? 53 95% STATISTICS S 2 Choices Selected: 4% 59 Choice Total Responses: 57 Total Rn be included, but not specificly 1 2% Report from
  25. 25. Conclusion: Principles of Transformational Learning for Sustainable Education Trans-disciplinarity Participation Values Action
  26. 26. Principles 1.Trans-disciplinarity Trans-disciplinarity is necessary for an integrative understanding of complex systems. Problems must not be seen in isolation but as interconnected. The world is a complex, interconnected, finite, ecological-social- psychological-economic system… We treat it as if it were not, as if it were divisible, separable, simple, and infinite. Our persistent, intractable, global problems arise directly from this mismatch. (Meadows, 1982, p.101 quoted in Sterling, 2010, p.214). Transformative learning processes must be designed to cross disciplinary boundaries to engage a whole systems approach and enable understanding of connections and relationships between issues.
  27. 27. Principles 2. Participation Environmental values are not fixed, but emerge out of ‘debate, discussion and challenge, as people encounter new facts, insights and judgments contributed by others’ (Owens, p.1145). Environmental values, like other cultural priorities, are learned attitudes. New values and behaviours cannot be disseminated if imposed from above but sustainability and ecological literacy could be realized through a substantial process of engagement using participatory processes.
  28. 28. Principles 3. Values A study of ecology demonstrates that our actions have implications well beyond our immediate sphere of interactions. Ecological understanding reveals that widening our sphere of concern to include the natural world is a geophysical imperative for human survival over the long term. We have a responsibility to confront value systems that fail to prioritize the maintenance of ecological stability and planetary health.
  29. 29. Principles 4. Action Transformative learning is complete when an individual is able to act according to beliefs he or she has validated through critical reflection. While solving a problem might well be beyond the capacity of any one individual, the goal of transformative learning is help learners become capable of participating in a process of change. Paulo Freire states; an inauthentic word... results when a word is deprived of its dimension of action, reflection automatically suffers as well; as the world is changed into idle chatter, into verbalism, into an alienated and alienating ‘blah’. It becomes an empty word, which cannot denounce the world, for denunciation is impossible without a commitment to transform, and there is no transformation without action (1970, 68).
  30. 30. Furthermore reflection without action cannot lead to true knowledge:‘A mere perception of reality not followed by [a] critical intervention willnot lead to transformation of the objective reality – precisely because it isnot a true perception (Freire, 1970, 34).Transformative learning aims to help learners develop the capacity to put newideas into practice. This focus on action addresses the value / action gap in sustainable education.
  31. 31. BibliographyBateson, G., Steps to an Ecology of Mind. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1972.Capra, F., The Web of Life. London: Harper Collins, 1997.Capra, F., and Henderson, H., ‘Qualitative Growth’. London: The Institute of CharteredAccountants in England and Wales, 2009.Daly, H., ‘A Steady-State Economy’. London: Sustainable Development Commission, 2008.Diamond, J., Collapse. London: Penguin, 2005.Friere, P., Pedagogy of the Oppressed. London: Penguin, 1970.Jackson,T. ‘Prosperity without Growth?’ London: Sustainable Development Commission, 2009.Kahn, R. Critical Pedagogy, Ecoliteracy, and Planetary Crisis: The Ecopedagogy Movement. NewYork: Peter Lang. 2010.Kitchenham, A., ‘The Evolution of John Mezirow’s Transformative Learning Theory’, Journal ofTransformative Education. London: Sage. Volume 6, Number 2, April 2008.Kuhn, T., The Structure of Scientific Revolutions. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1962.Luke, S., Power: A Radical View. London: Macmillan Press, 1974.Manzini, E., ‘The Scenerio of a Multi-local Society: Creative Communities, Active Networks, andEnabling Solutions’. In Chapman, J., & Gant, N., eds., Designers, Visionaries, and Other Stories.London: Earthscan, 2007.Meadows, D., Wright, D. ed., Thinking in Systems. London: Earthscan, 2008.Mezirow, J. ‘Learning to Think Like an Adult. Core Concepts in Transformation Theory’. Learningas Transformation. San Francisco: Jossey Bass. 2000Mezirow, J., Transformative Learning in Practice. New York: Jossey-Bass, 2009.Orr, D., Ecological Literacy. Albany: State of New York Press, 1992.Reason, P. and Bradbury, H., The Handbook of Action Research, 2nd Edition. London: Sage, 2007.Simms, A., Johnson, V., and Chowla. P., ‘Growth Isn’t Possible’. London: new economicsfoundation. 2010Sterling, S., Sustainable Education. Totnes: Green Books, 2001. Jody Joanna BoehnertSterling, S. Whole Systems Thinking as a Basis for Paradigm Change in Education, Exploring the University of BrightonContext of Sustainability. University of Bath. 2003. EcoLabs |